Motivation is different from wanting; people can want different things but motivation is their drive to put energy into achieving what they want. For example, I might want the physique and fitness of an athlete but my motivation to achieve that may be very low- in which case I am very unlikely to achieve it. Wanting something helps but it is not enough to make it happen; your chances of achieving what you want is not measured by how much you want it but by how motivated you are to achieve it. This energy and drive to achieve something which we call motivation has got separate elements which make it up:
- What is the goal or the aim?
- What are the steps which are needed to achieve this goal?
- What amount of time is necessary to do the things which will take me in the direction of the goal?
- What amount of effort is required in order to achieve your goal?
- Are you willing to be persistent with the time and effort required?
These ingredients make up my motivation to get to where I want to get to:
1. Do I know why I want this outcome?
Take time to be clear to yourself why you want to achieve this outcome:
a very simple way to think about it is: Either I want to move away from something I no longer want or Where I am is fine but I am aiming for something else which is different or better. Write it down in order to clarify your own thinking and to give you more clarity.
2. Am I clear what the goal or the outcome I want is?
Try to be as specific as you can in terms of the thing you are aiming for: the more precise you can be the more likely you are to hit the target. If you are vague about the achievement it is very hard to become inspired. Having a clear vision of the end result is a big plus.
3. Do you know what steps to take to begin?
Now if you know why you want to change and you know what the ultimate goal is it is time to work out if you have all the knowledge, wisdom and guidance that is available. If you are trying to prepare for a marathon or become qualified in a new career or even get out of an unhealthy relationship, people have been down a similar path before you and there is a lot which you can learn about all the steps and pitfalls.
4. Do you have the time that it will take?
If you are even thinking about “motivation” then the outcome you are aiming for will be a bit of a stretch for you and it will take time to achieve. Can you find that time? Can you protect that time and ring-fence it? It is important to be realistic about this and do not simply think “I will somehow find the time”. You need to be willing to prioritise this so that you don’t end up giving away the time to others.
5. Do you have the energy it will take?
If your aim was easy to achieve it would not need planning and thinking about; so it is going to require some effort to make it happen. If you are planning on doing a course or getting fit or making a change in your lifestyle then you will need to work at it. As we all know, many people who join a gym start off with good intentions but then other things happen and bit-by-bit other things get in the way and so they no longer sustain the effort. It is a challenge for everybody to sustain effort so build in some support for yourself to help you when you are tempted to let things slip. Enlist a friend to support you, tell others what you are doing so that when you are tempted to “have a rest” they can encourage you.
6. Are you determined to make this happen?
Believe in yourself! Visualise what things will be like when you reach this goal! Think about it in detail; what will you be like, what will you feel, what will be different? Visualise yourself waking up the day after you have achieved your aim and as you lie in bed what will it be like?It is your life and you have the power to achieve, you have the ability to be the person you want to become.